Singapore, Singapore, November 19, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is pleased to announce that The Ascott Limited (Ascott) has achieved GSTC-Recognized status for its adoption of the GSTC Industry Criteria.
Ascott, a lodging business unit wholly owned by CapitaLand Investment, spans over 200 cities across more than 40 countries. Ascott has also unveiled Ascott CARES, a sustainability framework that aligns its growth strategy with environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations alongside the GSTC Criteria for sustainable tourism. The expanded framework is centred around five pillars representing the acronym CARES – Community, Alliance, Respect, Environment and Supply chain.
The GSTC-Recognized status refers to the standard itself and means that a sustainable tourism standard or system has been reviewed by GSTC technical experts and the GSTC Assurance Panel and deemed the standard or system equivalent to the GSTC Criteria for sustainable tourism. It shows that the set of standards are based on the 4 pillars of the GSTC Criteria: Environment, Social, Cultural, and Management principles. This does not relate to the process of certification, nor to accreditation.
“The sustainability landscape is an ever-changing one, made more complex by the prevailing macroeconomic environment. Given that, we need to evolve our approach to sustainability in a more holistic and strategic manner. As both an owner and an operator, Ascott has the ability to design a strategy that integrates purposeful sustainability goals with financial objectives. We have a strong position that allows us to influence and manage properties throughout their entire real estate lifecycle, beginning from the investment stage, to design stage, right through to operations,” said Ms Beh Siew Kim, Chief Financial & Sustainability Officer, Lodging, CapitaLand Investment and Managing Director, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Japan and Korea, The Ascott Limited.
“Congratulations to Ascott on the acceleration of their sustainability initiatives, providing a framework for a systematic approach to sustainable tourism,” said Randy Durband, GSTC CEO. “They are deep into the process of applying several meaningful good practices to all of their properties, setting themselves apart from many brands that apply good practices to limited numbers of properties.”
Currently, 12 destination standards, 37 hotel standards, and 15 tour operator standards have achieved GSTC-Recognized status. The status offers the market proof that these standards adhere to international norms. GSTC Recognition does not ensure that a certification process is reliable, only that the set of standards used to certify are equivalent to the GSTC Criteria. GSTC-Recognized standard owners are encouraged to follow and complete the accreditation process, which assures that the certification process used to apply the standard meets international best practice, transparency, and rigor. A list of GSTC-Accredited certification bodies is available here.
About the GSTC
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) establishes and manages global sustainable standards, known as the GSTC Criteria. There are two sets: Destination Criteria for public policy-makers and destination managers, and Industry Criteria for hotels and tour operators. These are the guiding principles and minimum requirements that any tourism business or destination should aspire to reach in order to protect and sustain the world’s natural and cultural resources, while ensuring tourism meets its potential as a tool for conservation and poverty alleviation.
The GSTC Criteria form the foundation for Accreditation of Certification Bodies that certify hotels/accommodations, tour operators, and destinations as having sustainable policies and practices in place. GSTC does not directly certify any products or services; GSTC provides an accreditation program through its partner Assurance Services International to accredit Certification Bodies. The GSTC is an independent and neutral USA-registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization that represents a diverse and global membership, including national and provincial governments, leading travel companies, hotels, tour operators, NGO’s, individuals and communities – all striving to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism.
About The Ascott Limited
The Ascott Limited (Ascott) is a Singapore company that has grown to be one of the leading international lodging owner-operators. Ascott’s portfolio spans over 200 cities across more than 40 countries in Asia Pacific, Central Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the USA.
Ascott has about 92,000 operating units and more than 63,000 units under development, making a total of about 155,000 units in over 900 properties. The company’s serviced apartment, coliving and hotel brands include Ascott, Citadines, lyf, Oakwood, Quest, Somerset, The Crest Collection, The Unlimited Collection, Préférence, Fox, Harris, POP!, Vertu and Yello.
Ascott’s loyalty programme, Ascott Star Rewards, offers exclusive benefits to its members when they book directly with Ascott for their stays at its participating properties.
Ascott, a wholly owned subsidiary of CapitaLand Investment Limited, pioneered Asia Pacific’s first international-class serviced apartment with the opening of The Ascott Singapore in 1984. Today, the company boasts over 30 years of industry track record and award-winning brands that enjoy recognition worldwide.